Expensive 'cheap' Cadillacs and cheap 'expensive' Cads?!

As promised, here are some recent prices of 1955 Cadillac prices, as well as the current prices, as noted in Old Cars Price Guide.

1955 Cadillacs:
Current OCPG values
Series 62 two-door hardtop: #1 40,000; #2 28,000; #3 18,000; #4 8,000
Series 62 Coupe deVille:      #1 41,000; #2 28,700; #3 18,450; #4 8,200
Series 62 convertible:           #1 85,000; #2 59,500; #3 38,250; #4 17,000
Eldorado convertible:           #1 92,500; #2 64,750; #3 41,630; #4 18,500

When it comes to Coupe deVilles from 1955, there are four records of No. 3 cars selling for $35,000 to $9,500 for an average of $20,625 in 2007 and 2006. This large span of prices is a good example to show how an auction venue can help or harm a seller’s price. (Bigger auctions that are well-promoted fetch realistic values while small auctions with little if any promotion can hide deals for bidders and heartbreak for sellers.) Looking at the Old Cars Price Guide estimates, the publication’s prices are in the ballpark.

The Series 62 coupe prices weren’t as conclusive as the 1955 Coupe deVille prices. Only three cars are contained in the database from 2007: a No. 2 Series 62 coupe sold for $19,500, and two No. 3 Series 62 coupes are listed as selling (one for $19,500 and a second for $25,500) for an average of $22,500.

I’m fortunate enough to have two 1955 Cadillacs in my family, a Coupe deVille and a Series 62 coupe. While the Coupe deVilles prices haven’t changed much, it appears that the No. 3 price for Series 62 coupes have gone up, indicating a need to raise the values in Old Cars Price Guide, perhaps to around the $22,000 mark in No. 3 condition. Compare that to the $20,000 recent market average (address above) for a No. 3 Coupe deVille – according to this information, a Series 62 coupe is worth more in today’s market than a Coupe deVille, and any Caddy fan will tell you that shouldn’t be the case. Series 62 coupes are not nearly as plush as Coupe deVilles, and most people are willing to pay the difference to have a Coupe deVille badge and a slightly plusher interior on their car over a (relatively) “plain Jane” Series 62 coupe, which has only Cadillac emblems here and there. Or is this ideology changing?

Another twist on prices comes from 1955 Cadillac convertibles. It appears that have been paying more for a Series 62 convertible than the usually coveted Eldorado convertibles! Eldorados are far more rare, came standard with dual four-barrels and Sabre wheels, and feature unique styling in the Cadillac line. Are more buyers stating they prefer the looks of the Series 62 line over the Eldorados? It’s possible. Throw in the fact that any 1955 Cadillac can be equipped with dual quads, and Sabres can be fitted to almost any model (Cadillac did not recommend fitting Sabres to Series 75 models), and the mechanical benefits of an Eldorado can be had in a Series 62.

Here are some pricing results:
Three Eldorado convertibles are listed as selling in 2007 auctions in No. 2 condition at $65,000, $71,500 and $88,000 (the last example had less than 16,000 original miles). That’s an average of $74,800, with the low-mileage car thrown in. Throwing it out, that’s an average of $68,250. Three No. 3 Eldorados are in the database selling for $52,000, $55,000 and $57,500 for an average of $54,000. The Old Cars Price Guide currently shows a No. 2 price around $64,750 and a No. 3 price at $41,630.
Eldorado prices remain strong and on-target with Old Cars Price Guide, but Series 62 convertibles, on the other hand, have been recording higher sales figures. In 2007, three Series 62 convertibles in No. 2 condition sold for $145,000, $87,000 and $74,000, all considerably more than Eldorados in comparable condition, and with a higher average at $102,000 in No. 2 condition. If we throw out the $145,000 figure and consider it an anomaly, the average price of Series 62 convertibles in No. 2 condition was $80,500, compared to $68,250 for Eldorados.  

Conclusion: Cadillac Series 62 coupes have been fetching more than Coupe deVilles in comparable condition, and Series 62 convertibles have been seeing higher prices than Eldorado convertibles in comparable condition. It will take more time to see if this is truly where the market is heading, but chances are, these are not trends. Rather, the less-expensive Series 62 coupes and Series 62 convertibles from 1955 are likely being sold at higher-profile and better-publicized auctions than more-expensive Eldorados and Coupe deVilles.

My family’s 1955 Cadillac Series 62 coupe parked in front of the SS Spartan in Ludington, Mich., after ferrying across Lake Michigan on the SS Badger. Except for a repaint of the black top, this car is all original and AACA HPOF-certified — and I love it! (Photo courtesy George Cuhaj)

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